Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 42)

Here’s my article’s selection of the week:


– EU project seeks to improve GM food safety testing, by Caroline Scott-Thomas+, on an EU-funded project that aims to improve safety testing for genetically modified (GM) foods has published its first results.


– FSA promises probe after sheep’s milk protein found in UK goats’ cheese, by Mark Astley+ , on the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has promised an investigation after several samples of goats’ cheese sold in Britain were found to contain up to 80% sheep’s cheese.

– Venomous spider strikes again, in Waitrose bananas, by Rod Addy+, on a Waitrose shopper got the shock of his life when he uncovered the world’s deadliest spider in a bunch of bananas just delivered by the upmarket supermarket chain.


– Are Recalls an Effective Element of Food Safety?, by James Andrews, on given that recalls are often not issued until after the damage has been done, the question has regularly been raised in the food industry as to whether or not recalls are an effective tool in food safety. The question was the topic of a debate at this year’s International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) conference in Indianapolis.

– FDA to hold public meeting on key FSMA proposed rules, by Heidi Parsons, on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced it will hold a public meeting Nov. 13 to discuss potential changes to four proposed rules associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

WTO Rules Against Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat in U.S., by James Andrews, on the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in an ongoing dispute with the United States over country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat.

– Making Sense of Seals of Approval, by Michele Simon, on “These days health-conscious consumers are increasingly seeking out food products not only with fewer ingredients and a “clean label”, but also foods produced in a manner that minimizes harm to the environment, among other ethical business practices. And it’s not enough to claim your product is healthy or sustainable with just words; to get that much-needed boost in a highly competitive marketplace, many food companies are spending the extra money to obtain third-party certification for various claims. But before jumping on the “seal of approval” bandwagon, it’s important to understand the legal implications of various types of certification. For example, some seals are legally defined and require third-party certification while others are just voluntary.”

Summer Academy in Global Food Law and Policy 2013

From Monday July 22nd to Friday July 26th I’ll be in Granada (Spain) to attend the 2013 Summer Academy in Global Food Law and Policy.

The Academy is organised by Alberto Alemanno, Associate Professor of Law at at HEC Paris, where he holds a Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law & Risk Regulation, in close cooperation with Sidley Austin LLP, OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health), the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, the World Food Law Institute, the European Journal of Risk Regulation and the Institute for Food Law and Regulations (IFLR) at the Michigan State University.

The program is really stimulating and will touch some key points of the actual food law regulation, such as the precautionary principle, the role of some key actors in global food governance, such as the WTO, WHO, and some international standard-setting bodies, such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the World Organization for Animal Health, as well as the FIC regulation (EU Reg. 1169/11 on food information to consumers), the “obesity challenge” and the food compliance challenges for in house legal officers.

The speakers list is really impressive, and both teachers and attendants possess a terrific knowledge regarding food law matters, so it will be a great pleasure (and an honour) to join them all next week!